Whether you're looking for child care for your first child, your second, or third your search for care begins with having a clear idea of what you want or need for the care of your child. Among the issues you will want to consider are your child's age and temperament, the available care options, the schedule you are seeking, whether you prefer care to be close to home or work, and how much you can afford.
Carebridge Life Resources, NYU's Employee Assistance Program, is your primary source for child care information and referral. Child care specialists are available by phone (800-437-0911) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with finding and evaluating child care for your newborn through school-age child.
Learn more about Carebridge Life Resources and other parenting supports.
There are three primary forms of child care services for children newborn through five years of age. They are: center-based, family child care, and in-home care. Center-based and family child care are both regulated by the City of New York. Because of the short supply of center-based care for infants and toddlers, and two-year olds the majority of families seeking care for this age group tend to rely on family child care or in-home care.
It is important to start your search for child care early. Beginning early will provide you with an opportunity to have a sense of the available care options, give you the time you need to determine your preference in the type of care available, and alleviate the potential stress of making this decision when you need to return to work.
In NYC, as elsewhere across the country, center-based care or preschool aged children (2.5-4 years) is readily available. On the other hand, services for infants (newborn-12 months) and toddlers (18-24 months) are scarce. In the Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and lower Manhattan neighborhoods waitlists for children in this age group average 12-18 months.
Therefore, if you are seeking care for your young child, a very compelling reason to look for care early is that you will want to place your name on a waitlist. Full-time child care centers programs are accustomed to accepting applications from expectant and adopting parents. The majority of programs do not require a deposit however some program do have a practice of requiring non-refundable deposits to secure your place.
Care is provided by an individual that you employ to work in your home. Caregivers are available to either “live-in” in your home or “live out” and come to your home each day.
A regulated family child care provider takes care of three to six children in their own home or apartment. In “group family child care,” the provider, working with an assistant, cares for seven to twelve children in his or her home or apartment. These settings serve infants through school-age children.
Known by several names, including day care center, child care center, early childhood program, these programs often provide a full day of care, generally from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Part-day or school-day programs, often referred to as nursery schools, are also available.
Care is provided for children before- and after-school hours. Some programs also provide care during school vacations and holidays. Summer camp is included in this category.